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Native alternative(s) for Acer diabolicum:
Acer glabrum Acer glabrum var. diffusum
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Quercus nigra Quercus nigra
Quercus michauxii Form of tree (Brazoria County, TX)-Early Fall
Quercus montana Form
Acer diabolicum has some common insect problems:
Aphids on Ornamental Landscape Plants

Devil Maple Acer diabolicum

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
AY-ser di-ah-BALL-ee-cum
Description

Devil Maple is a deciduous tree in the Sapindaceae (soapberry) family native to central and southern Japan and is planted as an ornamental in that region.  In the US, it makes a sturdy landscape tree though not well known. The genus Acer means maple and the species name diabolicum meands relating to the devil.  The common name devil or horned maple comes from the two hornlike appendages of the protruding curly stigmas of its flowers, which are retained on its winged fruit, a samara.  

Usually found at mature heights of 20 to 30 feet with a rounded habit. Yellow female flowers that are not particularly showy appear on the female tree before the leaves. The male tree has slightly more showy red blooms. The real distinguishing feature for this tree is the winged samara which is distinctly thick and bristly.  

Plant this flowering tree it as a specimen in an Asian themed garden or in a lawn or along a slope.  Because it supports moth larvae it would be an excellent addition to a pollinator or nighttime garden.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Aphids can be an issue for this tree.  Verticillium Wilt and Fusarium Wilt may be contracted.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#full sun tolerant#brown#wildlife plant#moths#fall interest#rabbit resistant#showy fruits#deer resistant#nighttime garden#pollinator plant#larval host plant#deciduous tree#moth larvae#imperial moth
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#full sun tolerant#brown#wildlife plant#moths#fall interest#rabbit resistant#showy fruits#deer resistant#nighttime garden#pollinator plant#larval host plant#deciduous tree#moth larvae#imperial moth
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acer
    Species:
    diabolicum
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan
    Wildlife Value:
    Members of the genus Acer support Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) larvae which have one brood per season and appear from April-October in the south. Adult Imperial Moths do not feed. Flowers attract pollinators
    Dimensions:
    Height: 20 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Samara
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The seeds, like wings, are upright or spreading with horn-like structures at the inner junction of the fruiting structure about 1 1/2 inches long.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Dioecious, with first yellowish to salmon to brick red flowers appearing in early spring before the leaves fully unfurl. The female tree has yellow, while the male is red.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are 4 to 7 in., opposite, and simple with 5 lobes. They are dark green on the top side and have a silky pubescence on the bottom, especially the veins. Non-showy fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Older bark is grayish brown, and nearly smooth or slightly furrowed.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Young branches are whitish and pubescent, to brown or reddish brown in their second year and changing to a light grayish brown and glabrous.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Moths
    Pollinators